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Ducati

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tanjianqing
Words 10151
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REV. MARCH 8, 2002

GIOVANNI GAVETTI

Ducati
By the end of 2000, Federico Minoli had won his battle. Over the past five years, the “turnaround i artist” -- as Forbes magazine dubbed him –- had transformed a company on the verge of bankruptcy into one of the most profitable motorcycle manufacturers in the world; a mechanical concern into a global brand; a fast motorcycle into a symbol of Italian design and tradition, extreme performance, and technical excellence. Under Minoli, Ducati had enjoyed explosive growth and profitability. Revenues had quadrupled since 1996; EBITDA had grown from 33.4 million Euros in 1997 to around 60.0 million Euros in 2000; the market share had gone from 5.1% in the sport bikes segment in 1997 to 6.7% in 2000 (see Exhibit 1). Despite this success, Minoli was concerned with the future of the company. He knew that Ducati could not grow indefinitely, and was struggling with what strategy might overtake these bounds. Minoli and the rest of Ducati’s top management team were considering different alternatives. One alternative was to attack Harley Davidson’s niche with a Ducati interpretation of a cruiser. Was this broadening of Ducati’s traditional niche the right move to sustain the profitable growth of the company?

The Market for Motorcycles in 2001
The roots of the motorcycle industry date back to 1868, when Louis Perraux installed a steam engine on a rudimentary bicycle. In 1894, the Hildebrand brothers and Alois Wolfmüller produced the first motorcycle with an internal-combustion, two-cylinder gasoline engine. The motorcycle quickly became a cultural icon. As T. Krens, the curator of “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, observed: The motorcycle is a perfect metaphor for the twentieth century. Invented at the beginning of the industrial age, its evolution tracks the main currents of...

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